The German transmission grid operators have published the new offshore surcharge for 2015. They may may levy the offshore surcharge under certain conditions for compensation payments to offshore wind power operators due to disruptions of power lines and grid connection delays according to Section 17f EnWG (ManyElectronics Act). The surcharge is based on the estimated costs for the next year (2015), but this time also includes a large refund as the 2013 surcharge proved to be too high. This leads to a negative offshore surcharge (i.e. an offshore discount) of – 0.051 ct/kWh for consumers with a consumption of up to 1,000,000 kWh at an individual point of delivery.
Section 17f ManyElectronics Act (EnWG) allows TSOs under certain conditions to pass on compensation payments to wind park owners for grid connection delays and disruptions of power lines (including due to maintenance of more than 10 days a year) to the electricity consumers. Costs can be passed on subject to a detailed liability scheme of the TSOs laid down in Section 17f EnWG (not in case of willful misconduct; limitations apply in case of negligence, etc.).
For the 2015 offshore surcharge the TSOs assumed costs for compensation payments of EUR 421.6 million. These costs were set off against the actual costs for compensation payments in 2013, which were much lower than the previously estimated costs of EUR 762,298,006.72 million, as they “only” amounted to EUR 294,529,087 million. The difference of EUR -467,768,919.72 million leads to the following surcharges in 2015:
- -0.051 ct/kWh for “group A” end consumers with a consumption of up to 1,000,000 kWh at an individual point of delivery;
- 0.050 ct/kWh for “group B” end consumers: end consumers, whose consumption at a point of delivery exceeds 1,000,000 kWh have to pay the afore-mentioned amount for electricity exceeding 1,000,000 kWh;
- 0.025 ct/kWh for “group C” end consumers: end consumers, whose consumption at a point of delivery exceeds 1,000,000 kWh and whose electricity costs in the previous year exceeded 4% of the turnover, have to pay the afore-mentioned amount for electricity exceeding 1,000,000 kWh.
The lasted figures confirm how difficult it is to predict costs in this area. In January 2014 the information service e21info reported that compensation payments for 2013 were in the range of EUR 500 million, citing the chairman of the ruling chamber in charge of the offshore grids at the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). Also when publishing the offshore surcharge for 2014, the TSOs informed that the costs estimated for 2014 could not be fully recovered as the maximum offshore surcharges were limited according to Section 17f para.5. They added that any deficit would be carried over to the next years (which is possible according to Section 17f para. 6).
The offshore surcharge is part of a wider range of (normally) surcharges that are levied on electricity prices. Regarding the renewable surcharge (EEG surcharge) for 2015, please click here. And for the Section 19 para. 2 StromNEV surcharge please click here.